Matt joined ORNL in 2018 and is an R&D Associate in the Plasma Theory and Modeling Group of the Fusion Energy Division in the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate. His research interests include theoretical and computational modeling of tokamak plasmas using magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and particle-based kinetic models. His work contributes to the effort to achieve a self-sustaining, burning plasma in the ITER fusion experiment. He received an Office of Science Early Career Award to self-consistently join the MHD and kinetic paradigms to create a hybrid code that examines the efficacy of and recommends optimizations for the disruption and runaway electron mitigation systems planned for ITER and future fusion reactors.
Before joining ORNL, Matt was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Engineering Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Graduate Research Assistant at West Virginia University. His tenure at the University of Wisconsin - Madison included an appointment through the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences Postdoctoral Research Program. In these roles, he used MHD models to study spontaneous and forced magnetic reconnection occurring in tokamaks that result in abrupt changes in the magnetic configuration and plasma confinement that can precipitate disruptive events.
Matt participates as an expert in the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) topical groups. He also leads the Disruption Mitigation topical group at ORNL, which unites the varied engineering, experimental, and modeling research in the Fusion Energy Division. Matt represents ORNL in the Sherwood Fusion Theory Executive Committee, and he is planning the upcoming 2023 conference to be held in Knoxville, TN. Lastly, Matt recently served as a Scribe in the US ITER Research Program Research Needs Workshop which has delivered a report to the DOE on the research and organizational needs of the US as it prepares for ITER.
Matt completed his Ph.D. in plasma physics at West Virginia University in 2015, his M.S. at West Virginia University in 2011, and his B.S. at Johns Hopkins University in 2008.